Haven’t heard any fat lady yet

I agree the anti-incumbent sentiment building up is real. That being said though, I am not sure Arlen Specter’s primary loss in Pennsylvania is that predictive of what’s to come. Spector is nearly 80. He’s switched parties twice. Sestak ran a brilliant campaign to come from behind in the last weeks – a campaign strategy, by the way, that I expect to see copied. Sestak was a very appealing candidate. He was NOT an anti-anything. He wa a young buck challenging the old stag while he was weak.

The Ron Paul victory in Kentucky was somewhat predictive, but the Democrats primary drew out twice as many voters. So Paul may by the new face of the Republican party, that’s doesn’t assure that his will be the new face of Washington.

Time. Will. Tell.

UPDATE: Steve Benen at Washington Monthly makes the point that the most important election yesterday was the actual one – not a primary – in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District for the late John Murtha’s old seat. And Murtha’s former chief of staff won it against the GOP candidate who boasted of his Tea Party cred.

He notes “This is the only district in the country that backed Kerry in 2004, but McCain in 2008, suggesting it was trending heavily in the GOP’s direction. If there’s going to be a backlash against Dems right now, this should be the place to find it. Indeed, it was the bulk of Burns’ platform — he specifically ran against Washington, Speaker Pelosi, and the Obama presidency, a pitch Republicans intend to duplicate in other competitive districts through the fall.”

UPDATE II: A post from Balloon Juice captures my point exactly.

Another Clear Case of Anti-Incumbent Fervor

Only irrational “throw the bums out” anger could explain why Democrats would reject an 80-year-old, yet newly minted, member of their party. Stuff like this could have nothing to do with it.

12 responses to “Haven’t heard any fat lady yet

  1. I’m so with you – Specter under the bus has NOTHING to do with anti-incumbancy. It’s just the democratic voters in Pennsylvania not liking the Gop defector. A bit disappointing reading nytimes calling this a “wave” of something.

    And PA-12, the “national referendum on Obamas left-wing agenda”..? Well, no Gop spin on that one now..

    TeaParty winning Kentucky gop primary – well.. that spells trouble for moderate republicans, and/or might say a few things about the voters_in_that_state.

    I did a little post on midterm congress shifts since 1980 the other day, four of seven lose in both chambers, but no golden rule really on incumbancy dynamics. And besides, some/ a lot of congresspeople do a bad job and need replacement. Nothing to do with “political forces” sweeping the country. Natural turnover. People and things change.

    And still, one gets worked up over the media drama sillyness as usual…


    • My ‘puter has been in the ‘shop most of today and I’m just catching up. And . . . I’m just starting to read your election stuff of the last few days. Looking good: juicy stuff. Be back at ya’ when I’m done.


  2. This “anti” wave is a huge joke. Do they even know what they are against? The disastrous Bush legacy ? The guy who’s been too busy fixing the mess to do anything but fixing some healthcare issues?

    You don’t change things (again, which?) with people but with ideas. I haven’t heard any.


    • Yup, right on.
      And unless the Dems screw up – they’ll keep both House and Senate in November. Just look at day 1 for Teaparty Paul, repeal the Civil Rights of ’64! Yay!

      And – as the special elections show – this “wave” is just some newsroom fantasy.. the death spiral of commercial press gets worse every day..


      • Honestly, sometimes I am convinced that they are not ever looking beyond each other any more. Except for McClatchy and a few others, it’s such a sad sad joke. Even the NY Times is aboard.


  3. There have been a number of special elections to national office in the last year or so – Democrats took every one of them.

    Our media is once again doing a good job of follow-the-leader – question is, who the hell is the ‘leader’?


    • Exactly, just did a post on the specials.
      And I’m still trying to frame this Gop stuff right – some is white minority politics – some is puppets for big money – but lots are just tipped over in mental/emotional disorder. It used to be different, right..?


      • Two big differences today:

        1. the Republican party I grew up with is gone. It’s been ‘southernized’ and you know what that means. It sure ain’t the old country club set.

        2. the constant reinforcement of anger, fear and things like racism, misogyny etc by talk radio and cable tv has made us TRIBAL . There’s no longer an opposing view – what we called the ‘loyal opposition’. There is, instead, the enemy, the other.

        I really believe strongly that #2 is nurtured on the right. It exists on the left but hasn’t the power or reach. Keith Olbermann does not a political philosophy make!


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